Mechanics / Electrodynamics
October 10, 2020
geometrical optics; reflection of light; speed of light; interference of light; Michelson interferometer; Michelson–Morley experiment; elastic collision ball wall
Derivation of light paths in the Michelson interferometer is based on the hypothesis that the speed of light does not change after reflection by a mirror in motion. The Michelson-Morley experiment predicts a fringe shift of 0.40. The same fringe shift is predicted for a particular Michelson interferometer in which the beam splitter of the interferometer makes an angle of 45° with the direction of light from the source. Light behaves like a wave and also as a particle. Thus, it is reasonable to consider the reflection of light as a mechanical phenomenon. With this hypothesis, the speed of light changes after reflection, and the predicted fringe shift for the particular Michelson interferometer is zero which is in accordance with the result of the Michelson-Morley experiment. Apparently, light travels in any inertial frame as if this particular interferometer belongs to a fixed frame. The velocity of light is considered independent of the velocity of its source, which is in accordance with astronomers’ observations of the binary stars, and the experiment performed at CERN, Geneva, in 1964.